Today, I would have to disagree with Seiberling: the abortion issue is more alive than ever, overriding the health reform debate, sending threats to those congressmen who supported it to punish them at the polls.
And today comes word that U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, was told by his Catholic bishop that he was not eligible for communion because he was pro-choice. That sort of threat has happened to others, including then-presidential candidate John Kerry. A former Notre Dame football player sat across the table and explained to me that although he had great respect for Kerry, he couldn't vote for him because of abortion. An engaging Akron priest told me in his office that he had marched in protest against the Viewnam war, but abortion was in no way open to discussion. For some, the line of demarcation cannot be crossed. etc. etc.etc.
By the way, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence says he didn't really instruct priests to not give communion to the congressman, but rather he only requested that the priest deny it to Kennedy. You know how that works.